In today’s edition, the fate of the Keystone pipeline remains uncertain as promoters and opponents maneuver in Washington. Maneuvers also in business, with Siemens acting to catch up with GE. In the meantime, China, whose population is apparently convinced that there is a need to address climate change, will launch its first carbon-linked financial product on Thursday.
Quote of the day
“We see a market potential for companies to finance mitigation activities with these new products. We are looking at carbon futures and other financing tools like green bonds, but it depends on how the carbon market performs.”
Cui Xuelai, a broker at Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, in the Reuters’ story China to launch first carbon-linked financial product on Thursday
Siemens Buys Rolls-Royce Energy Assets to Catch Up With GE
Alex Webb, Bloomberg
Siemens AG agreed to buy some Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc energy assets for $1.3 billion and plans to list its hearing-aid unit as Europe’s largest engineering company aims to close a profitability gap with rivals General Electric Co. and ABB Ltd.
***LB: also in this story “Siemens will buy Rolls-Royce’s energy aero-derivative gas turbine and compressor business to strengthen its position in the power generation and oil and gas industries and manage its health-care business separately, the Munich-based company said in a statement yesterday.”
Kremlin says U.S. firms face pressure over St Petersburg forum-RIA
Many U.S. companies are coming under pressure over plans to attend the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum later this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted on Wednesday as saying.
Senator says Ukraine instability makes case for Keystone XL pipeline
The head of the Senate energy and natural resources committee said Tuesday that instability in Ukraine makes the case for building the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the United States.
Reid gives GOP ultimatum on Keystone
Alexander Bolton, The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday rebuffed Republican demands for votes on amendments to an energy efficiency bill, possibly dooming consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Pipeline deal on verge of collapsing
Laura Barron-Lopez and Alexander Bolton, The Hill
An impasse over amendments is threatening to scuttle a vote on legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline, despite Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) insistence Tuesday that she is within two or three votes of a filibuster-proof majority.
China to launch first carbon-linked financial product on Thursday
China will launch its first carbon-linked financial product on Thursday, a debt note linked to the performance of carbon offsets on the Shenzhen Emissions Exchange, issued by a unit of China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).
***LB: Also in this story “The launch will be a first test of financial market confidence in China’s emerging emissions markets, as trading houses generally consider outright trade in carbon permits unattractive, since it is limited to spot deals.”
In China, 64 percent say they are environmentalists – report
Anna Nicolaou, Reuters,
In China, the world’s biggest polluter, about 64 percent of people identify themselves as environmentalists, more than double that of Europe and the United States, a report published on Wednesday showed.
***LB: also in this story “The report said multinational companies needed to understand Chinese environmentalists and how to harness their potential.”
Support builds for global carbon price at Abu Dhabi Ascent
Sophie Yeo, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
Calls for a global price on carbon intensified at a high level meeting in Abu Dhabi this week, with former US vice president Al Gore pinpointing it as his top priority in tackling climate change.
***LB : Also in this story “Over 40 national and 20 subnational governments have adopted carbon pricing schemes, according to the World Bank, accounting for around 22% of global emissions.”
Israel’s Tamar partners to sell $20 billion of gas to Europe via Egypt
Eran Azran, Haaretz and Reuters
The partners in Israel’s Tamar natural gas field said on Tuesday they had signed a letter of intent with Spain’s Union Fenosa Gas to export up to 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually over 15 years to the company’s liquefied natural gas plants in Egypt.
Climate Strategies Forum
Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)
The Climate Strategies Forum features plenary sessions focused on energy and climate, as well as bootcamps, on topics including adaptation planning, implementing change management schemes, implementing a GHG management structure and building a public-private partnership.
May 12 – 14, 2014
2014 MIDWEST SOLAR EXPO
Minnesota’s Marquee Solar Event
The Midwest Solar Expo is bringing together solar leaders from across the Midwest to advance dialogue on key issues, provide insight on the latest industry trends and best practices, and serve as a nexus between the solar industry and the public.
May 16, 2014
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
Court upholds EPA’s 2013 renewable fuel mandate
Timothy Cama, The Hill
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused Tuesday to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2013 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) level, saying the agency has “wide latitude” in deciding how it sets the mandate.
EU Proposes Giving Most Heavy Industries Free Carbon Permits
Ben Garside, Reuters
Most of Europe’s heavy industry should keep receiving free carbon permits to help them compete in global markets, the European Commission said on Monday.
***LB: Also in this story “The so-called carbon leakage list proposal included major emitters such as steel plants and cement producers as well as dozens of smaller lighter industries including makers of toilets and frozen potato chips. The proposal must be agreed by a majority of EU member states to become law and is expected to be voted on by July.”
South Africa Irons Out Rules For Emission Reductions In Planned Carbon Tax
Allie Goldstein, Ecosystem Marketplace
In designing its emissions reductions program, South Africa decided to have its cake and eat it too. Rather than choosing between the simplicity and revenue of a tax and the flexibility and cost efficiency of cap-and-trade, the government decided it could have both.
Hard-Hit CDM Carbon Market Seeks New Buyers
Jewel Fraser, Inter Press Service
Since they first emerged as a result of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, carbon offset markets have been a key part of international emissions reductions agreements, allowing rich countries in the North to invest in “emissions-saving projects” in the South while they continue to emit CO2.
Natural Gas / Coal
Green Stock Index Rejects Natural Gas Along With Oil and Coal
Eric Roston, Bloomberg
Since U.S. climate legislation failed in 2010, environmentalists and like-minded investors have begun campaigning to get investors to avoid fossil-fuel stocks. It’s worth putting the scale of that challenge in perspective.
Desert ceremony celebrates Turkmenistan-China gas axis
China cemented its position as the top importer of Turkmen gas, ahead of Russia, at a ceremony on Wednesday to open a new plant at a major field, attended by the Turkmen president seated on a lavishly gilt throne.
Stanford to Purge $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock
Michael Wines, The New York Times
Stanford University announced Tuesday that it would divest its $18.7 billion endowment of stock in coal-mining companies, becoming the first major university to lend support to a nationwide campaign to purge endowments and pension funds of fossil fuel investments.
Rockefeller introduces bills for clean coal incentives, research
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced a set of bills aimed at incentivizing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and funding federal research that could improve the process.
***LB: Also in this story “In addition to funding CCS research, Rockefeller’s legislation would expand tax credits for companies that use CCS, fund loan guarantees for constructing CCS facilities and fund retrofits of existing CCS facilities.”
Toshiba writes down value of stake in Texas nuclear project
Toshiba Corp said on Wednesday it wrote down by more than $300 million the value of its stake in a company planning to extend a nuclear power plant in Texas, amid uncertainty over the award of licenses for reactors in the U.S.
Why utilities need to get real about distributed energy
Lisa Cohn, GreenBiz.com
We’ve all heard a lot lately about the distributed energy threat and how it might hurt utilities.
***LB: Also in this story “A new report from Ernst & Young, “From Defense to Offense: Distributed Energy and the Challenge of Transformation in the Utilities Sector,” gives utilities some tips, chief of which is: Don’t be so defensive.”
Power Trading Results In April 2014 – EPEX SPOT
In April 2014, a total volume of 29.7 TWh was traded on EPEX SPOT’s Day-Ahead and Intraday markets (April 2013: 27.8 TWh). During April, the number of members surged up to 220, which is a new all-time high.
Fuel cell maker Hydrogenics’ loss widens on higher costs, customer delays
Canadian fuel cell maker Hydrogenics Corp’ reported a bigger first-quarter loss, hurt by higher expenses and a fall in sales due to customer delays.
Tesla Results Seen Crimped as Car Deliveries, Credit Sales Slow
Alan Ohnsman, Bloomberg
Tesla Motors Inc.’s results were dragged down last quarter as government pollution credits declined and tight battery supply made it harder to outfit the carmaker’s electric vehicles.
Fuel cell volatility, Alstom’s big backer
The last week has brought a reminder of the volatile nature of the fuel cell industry, as US producer ClearEdge Power filed for bankruptcy on May 2, less than two months after raising $US5m in a debt and equity sale to unnamed venture investors.
G7 calls for clean tech-focused “step change” in energy security
James Murray, BusinessGreen
Energy Ministers from across the G7 yesterday underlined their commitment to low carbon technologies as a means of both tackling climate change and enhancing energy security, in response to mounting fears that the security crisis in Ukraine could cause major disruption to the global energy market.
Electric vehicle chargers unplugged in Chicago
Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune
The Illinois Tollway’s website says “fast charging” stations for electric vehicles at its rest stops are “inoperable,” and thanks you for your patience.
More than 400 dams planned for the Amazon and headwaters
David Hill, The Guardian (blog)
412 hydroelectric dams will be built across the Amazon basin and its headwaters if current plans are fulfilled, it was announced on 25 April in Lima, potentially leading to the “end of free-flowing rivers”, contributing to “ecosystem collapse”, and causing huge social problems.
Murkowski calls for action to conserve energy, water
Timothy Cama, The Hill
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) released a white paper Tuesday to promote her legislation to coordinate federal efforts related to the conservation of energy and water and how each depends on the other for production.
***LB: Also in this story “Murkowski introduced the Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability Act with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in January. Her white paper explores how heavily the energy and water industries rely on each other, and how technology could reduce the need for each.”
National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Pushing U.S. Toward Water Extremes
Codi Kozacek and Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
Extreme droughts and heavy rainfall events will become increasingly common by the end of the century and affect drinking water supplies, agricultural production, and energy production across the United States, according to the third National Climate Assessment released Tuesday.
The U.S. Faces Longer Summers of Worsening Ozone Pollution
John Metcalfe, The Atlantic
The public soundtrack of the United States of the future could be a discordant symphony of hacking, wheezing, and curses. That’s because as the world continues to warm, the number of troublesome high-ozone days throughout the country will likely pile up, say researchers.